keywords: Brian Doyle

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Writing a poem is hard work

    • Various
    • 05 August 2014
    3 Comments

    It never looks like hard work. I’ve just rolled my sleeves up while I stare at an old shoe in the corner of the room for hours. I’ve sweated a day in my life as I skewer a stare right through the Friday morning waitress – the brick wall behind her.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    As close as we ever came to the Navy

    • Brian Doyle
    • 02 July 2014
    2 Comments

    When I was young, I thought that men and women in the military were violent and foolish. Now I understand that they are braver than I was, brave enough to admit and acknowledge our ancient addiction, and in many cases do astounding things to bring it to an end; the most eloquent and articulate agents for peace I ever met are those who've been in wars, and the most strident agents for wanton butchery are those who never knew it.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The weight and wonder of a brother's last words

    • Brian Doyle
    • 18 June 2014
    12 Comments

    We give great weight to last words. Most of the time I'd guess that those words are about love. I'd guess that some of those final words are shrieks or gasps or utterances of astonishment. The very last thing my brother said before he died was 'The answer is in the questioning.' I have thought about those words for two years now. It turns out you can ponder them from every conceivable angle and never get to the bottom of what they mean.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Performance review

    • N. N. Trakakis
    • 11 March 2014
    2 Comments

    After being shown in by the girly secretary into his spacious office, you were invited to sit in a corner chair, from where you stared at his polished black shoes, and his new brown cardigan.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Luckier man's lessons in grace

    • Brian Doyle
    • 04 March 2014
    9 Comments

    So let us review: a man sent me a deft wedding gift even though I was the man who was marrying the girl his son had loved for years ... The dad was sad when the young couple broke up. But he was delighted that she was married to someone she loved, he told me years later, and of course he sent me a present, out of affection for her and respect for me ... So it was that yet again I learned about grace, and about being an actual man ...

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Warm fuzzy flipside to a fidgety control freak

    • Brian Doyle
    • 08 October 2013
    5 Comments

    We did not see eye to eye, yet no one cared more about the work we did. He was subject to fits of temper, and you never met a gentler man. He held grudges, and was the soul of mercy. He was the worst manager I ever saw and the best employee. He had been a quiet drunk and when he realised he'd damage his new children he stopped and never took another sip. Lots of people knew him and no one knew him well.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The bullet that stopped an illicit Irish Mass

    • Brian Doyle
    • 04 September 2013
    15 Comments

    The man loses his temper, and tells his son something he has never told a soul: that one day in Donegal, during the time when the penal laws forbade Catholics to assemble for Mass, he had shot and killed a priest just as he elevated the host. The son, himself a priest, covers his face, as his father shouts that he never regretted that shot, that the priest and his fellow conspirators had got what they deserved.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    We're all boat people after all

    • Brian Doyle
    • 31 July 2013
    7 Comments

    Boat people, job thieves, welfare cheats — I've heard the insults, and the greed, fear and incipient blood behind those words. Rather than snarl at the crude selfishness behind our national fear of immigrants, I stare at my family annals, and read about the lanky children who came here from Ireland, utterly poor, desperately hungry, and ferociously eager.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Moved and confused by church in a tent

    • Brian Doyle
    • 09 July 2013
    6 Comments

    Religions are mesmerised and ruined by power but always pregnant with the possibility of humility. They are so easy to ignore. You'd be wise to sneer, with every reason imaginable for the curl of your knowing lip. Yet here I am, on Sunday morning, in the wedding reception tent, agog; not so much at the earnest idiot of a minister, but at everyone, sweetly, else.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My brother's hat mourns his death

    • Brian Doyle
    • 19 June 2013
    6 Comments

    If you were a familiar Irish cap, and had waited all night every night for 30 years for the blessing of the morning when he'd reach for you, knead you and fold you gently over his ungovernable hair, wouldn't you wonder where he was the first few days after he vanished, and feel something like a silent sadness?

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Giving stick to incipient police violence

    • Brian Doyle
    • 01 May 2013
    5 Comments

    A nightstick doesn't sound fearsome, but when you see one up close you respect the inherent violence of the thing. I stared at it for a while, contemplating how a burly policeman with his feet set could deliver a cracking blow to a head or a shoulder or an arm flung across your face to protect your eyes and brains.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A wild new pope

    • Barry Gittins, Brian Doyle and B. A. Breen
    • 12 March 2013
    8 Comments

    Man, yeah, I would be pope, if the phone rang, late at night, collect from the Vatican. Yes, I would, if I could do it right. I'd call a meeting of the Curia and say boys, we are letting women run everything for the next five years. Each of you gets a new boss in high heels.

    READ MORE

x

Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up